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Breastfeeding for a year can reduce a woman's risk of developing diabetes by 15 percent for up to 15 years, according to a study.
"We've known for a long time that breastfeeding is good for babies. In this study, we found that it's good for moms, too," said Dr. Alison Stuebe, a researcher at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and lead author of the report published today in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The study is based on data from more than 157,000 childbearing women.
After considering such factors as diet, exercise, weight and vitamin use, the researchers calculated what effect breastfeeding had on long-term diabetes risk.
They found that the longer a woman breastfeeds, the bigger the reduction in diabetes risk. So a woman who has two children and breastfeeds each for a year, may reduce her risk of diabetes by a third.
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